Abner Mares will challenge WBC featherweight titleholder Daniel Ponce de Leon on April 20 on Showtime, the former bantamweight and junior featherweight titleholder and his management team, Espinoza Boxing, announced on Twitter on Monday evening.
The showdown between the Mexican Olympians (Ponce de Leon was on the 2000 team; Mares was on the 2004 squad) will take place at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., according to the manager of both fighters, Frank Espinoza.
“We got signed contract this afternoon. Both fighters have signed, so the fight is on. Abner Mares is going to challenge for a title in yet another weight class against Daniel Ponce de Leon, the world champion,” said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
“It’s a great match up, stylistically, as well, and it’s from the perfect venue. If you remember when we did Israel Vazquez against Rafael Marquez, we did it from the Home Depot Center, and it was an amazing fight. So this fight reminds me of that one, from the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles.”
Ponce de Leon (44-4, 35 knockouts), a former 122-pound beltholder, won the WBC featherweight title with an eight-round technical decision over Jhonny Gonzalez last September. Mares (25-0-1, 13 KOs) defended the WBC 122-pound title he won last April against top bantamweight Anselmo Moreno in November of 2012.
Mares wanted to challenge RING 122-pound champ Nonito Donaire in his next bout but Donaire’s promoter, Top Rank, and his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, could not come to agreeable terms. Donaire is defending his title against WBA 122-pound beltholder Guillermo Rigondeaux on April 13 in New York City.
Golden Boy Promotions is working on adding a fan-friendly welterweight showdown between sluggers Marcos Maidana and Josesito Lopez to the card as the Showtime co-featured bout, but that fight has not been finalized.
“We’re working on it, to see if we can pull it off,” said Schaefer. “It would be probably one of the most exciting double-headers which have recently been on any network, and that would be Marcos Maidana against Josesito Lopez. It’s not done yet, but we’re working on that.”
Photo graphic / @EspinozaBoxing-Instagram